2nd September 2016
Picking T-shirts up on Sunday…
T-shirt Conversations – A Climate Circus Psychology Experiment.
Amazed at how excited I am about producing a range of t-shirts and how starved I must have been recently for outlets for my creativity.
Having searched for an ethical product, I have gone with Continental Clothing and mostly stuck to the items that are Ethically manufactured, and or Organic / Carbon reduced. Using local printers (Mild West Heroes), I then set about trying to design the accompanying booklet. (The T-shirts arrive with a set of comments compiled to assist conversation about how Climate Change might be affecting Mental Health. The idea being that if someone comments on your (frankly fabulous) shirt, you can use that interaction to share how you or they feel about talking about IT. You can also just go for; ‘Cheers, yeh, it is nice in’t it.’)
I finally found a layout I like – my 12 year old son came up with it – which offers 8 different conversation trails for this, the first run.
Writing up the input from my ‘experts’ and translating their thoughts into possible veins of chat, imagining different people having said chat, is proving a challengingly rewarding activity. Soon, my thoughts will have to turn to marketing – ugh. Pondering delegating that task… offers welcome!
If you would like to buy a t-shirt, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will let you know the colour and size range left in stock. They are £16.50 plus packaging or creative negotiation – perhaps help with marketing or distribution? I have thus far been offered shiatsu (ex-student), a reduction in sarcasm (my son) and am awaiting a flow of good old fashioned bargaining. Offers need to benefit Stumble and Can of Worms, towards deepening the conversations, distributing shirts or furthering the mission to make the live performance, not just letting me off doing my own washing up.
The project responds to how difficult I find it to discuss my concerns about the future. How quickly we are now experiencing the effects of Climate Change takes my breath away and my son’s life is going to be massively affected by it. This project will help me consider how I pursue different conversations with different people – tempering how I speak to a sceptic in contrast to an activist, a child in contrast to a hardened academic. It may also serve as a fundraiser for the making of the show, Can Of Worms – a Climate Psychology Circus, but I won’t hold my breath. In the meantime I am writing, auditioning, fundraising and playing with brilliant performers, one by one.
Blog post – ‘Crowdfunding for
An emotional journey. 10 days in. Being swept away by praise and feeling my self-esteem pick itself up by the skirts and running with it. Knowing that you can do one particular thing is something but learning that others say how good you are at it, is unfamiliar and life affirming as you see names and figures lining up in the ‘backers’ group. People reminiscing about past images and wishing for more. People who care deeply about how hard it is to take a painfully serious subject and expose its details for observation, discussion and towards action. People who are just glad that I care.
The more I read about disavowal the more it frightens me that the bland tv and the youtubers feeding laxatives to seagulls and the constant screens, are not merely a symptom of advancing technology, but a comprehensive means to take all the heads and ram them firmly into the sand.
Not criticism, not a call to arms, not teaching and not demonstrating. Simply wishing to talk about it. To imagine how it must be for our children to have the spectre of uncertainty cast over their adulthoods.
Circus is daft and entertaining.
Circus bodies are beautiful and able.
Circus is colourful and shallow.
Circus is so much more than this.
It is a visceral immersive experience that allows us to recharge our empathy buttons. To feel others’ pain, laugh alongside them, laugh at ourselves and feel the sinking knot of anxiety expressed as an acrobatic gesture of obsessional skill. To share that sensation with all those sat with us in the darkness staring at the human endeavour in the ring (or on the stage).
I really want to be able to say to programmers, to venues, to the Arts Council;
“People are interested.”
I believe that there are those that want to scrape below the surface and share life experiences with others. To be helped to talk about difficult things with their children, through images and through laughter, flinching at the danger.
I’d love to send out a message that what we require is not only
entertainment or distraction, but also some animated debate about what the hell is going on.
Here is what a few people have said:
Box of Frogs was one of my favourite circus shows to come out that year. The fact that Mish Weaver is crowd funding a sequel is crazy exciting.
The brilliant Mish Weaver, my friend and an artist I hugely admire, and have been v lucky to work with (geeking out on objects, balance, weight, instability…mmm…) has a new project she’s looking to get off the ground.
If you love the thrill of circus but also like to watch theatre that’s intelligent and meaningful, then her work is worth discovering and supporting.